Posts tagged ‘Friendship’

October 6, 2008

Twelve-year-old seeks help with feeling obligated…

by Rod Smith

“I am 12. I have been a friend to a boy who is now getting on my nerves. He always sits next to me. He always begins the day with ‘Did you hear…’ and it’s about an embarrassing fact about someone. He usually asks me what we have next as if I am his personal assistant. I tell him that he should know his own timetable and then, like clockwork, he comes back to me at the end of the next period and asks me ‘What do we have?’ My teacher used me an example of good behavior. I know that being good is never something to be ashamed of, but I am honestly going to blow up soon. I feel very bad (obligated). I know that I am one of the only people who listens to him, but I am getting annoyed.” (Minimally edited)

Feeling overcrowded is seldom comfortable. Your response to this uncomfortable situation is appropriate. Address him directly. I’d suggest a third party facilitate this difficult conversation if he were older than you are. Tell him, as strongly as possible, that you will be choosing to establish some distance from him – while also remaining one of his friends. Both of you stand to learn important life lessons as you succeed in defining yourself to your friend. Learn it now, it will serve you well forever.

January 21, 2008

Because I am your friend I will…

by Rod Smith

1. Be aware of the unique, honored position I have in your life, and regard it with the respect it deserves.
2. Hear you, even if you are telling me things I’d rather you not say.
3. Be willing to disagree with you, when, in my estimation, you are wrong, off target, or unfair in your actions or thinking.
4. Forgive you when you hurt me, even though I will sometimes make it very clear to you how the hurt occurred.
5. Expect the very best of you and applaud your use of all of your skills and talents.
6. Tell you the truth as I see it, as kindly, efficiently, and succinctly as possible.
7. Live my life as purposefully as possible in my daily journey toward fulfilling the deepest, most powerful yearnings of my head and heart.
8. Be generous to you (without giving you money) and be kind to you (without trying to solve your problems).
9. Not inflict my anxiety upon you.
10. Stand on my own two feet without pushing you over.
11. Engage you in necessary conflict that I may love you more powerfully.
12. Speak well of you in every circumstance.